It took 1 CIA agent 4 days to oust democratically elected Iranian leader in 1953
It took US 60 years (19 Aug 2013) of silence and denial to finally admit to its role in toppling the elected PM of Iran Mohammad Mossadegh on 19 August 1953. There was no social media then, no artificial intelligence, no NGOs of the kind present today, all it took was one US CIA agent – Kermit Roosevelt Jnr (grandson of US President Theodore Roosevelt). Kermit Roosevelt toppled a leader in just 4 days. Operation Ajax was the name of the coup started on 15th August 1953 and ending with the ouster on 19th August 1953. Kermit died aged 84 years in 2000 and was not alive to see US take responsibility for the coup he orchestrated.
Who was Mohammad Mossadegh
He was a leader the Iranians held in high esteem & elected by the Iranian people in 1951.
Iran had a constitutional Monarchy with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi remained monarch & Mossadegh becoming PM.
Where did he go wrong
He began introducing a range of social & economic policies that led to the nationalization of Iranian oil which didn’t go too well with UK who controlled Iran’s oil via Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.
London based financier William D’Arcy struck oil in Iran in 1908 & an Anglo-Persian Agreement was signed giving Britain control over Iran’s army, treasury, transport system & communications network. Nationalizing oil meant nullifying that agreement.
This meant it would end UK’s monopoly of Iran’s reserves for 45 years (1908)
Britain secured US assistance to orchestrate Mossadegh’s overthrow.
Lesson here is – any leader going against Western corporate interest will be overthrown!
Outcome of overthrowing Mossadegh
CIA chased a democratically elected leader & brought in Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – the Shah of Iran. The Shah ruled for 25 years until 1979. Years of brutal suppression for which US has to account for.
Who was Kermit Roosevelt
Kermit joined Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1947 which was the predecessor of CIA. It was in February 1953 that British intel agents approached CIA head Allen Dulles & his brother Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (no nepotism here) to assign Kermit for the task. A request made in February 1953, received final approval in June 1953, Kermit arrived in Iran on 19 July 1953 and exactly a month later the coup succeeded after Kermit hired protestors/demonstrators & military officials. Leaders of US & UK were President Eisenhower and British PM Churchill.
Part of Operation Ajax was to work with nicknames – Shah was “Boy Scout’ and Mossadegh was “Old Bugger”.
What was Kermits role in the overthrow of Mossadegh
Kermit Roosvelt knew communication was key.
He bought people in media bribing them. Nothing new – we see it happening even presently.
Kermit got these paid media personnel to come up with anti-Mossadegh propaganda.
That happens even now in all parts of the world.
Kermit next turned to tapping the Islamic clergy – a tactic used presently too.
Kermit paid Iranians to protest – he paid for the banners – he paid for the slogans.
Kermit also tapped Iran’s military including Gen. Zahedi.
Kermit then plotted to capture Mossadegh from his home.
The 1st coup attempt failed. The 2nd didn’t.
Mossadegh was captured after CIA tapped Iranians to capture their leader.
He was placed under house arrest (14 years) until he died on 5 March 1967.
Countries that are geopolitically significant where US & West have their hotspots, the manner they operate cannot be missed.
Look at how Iran fell and tie them up with countries also under West’s radar.
- US does not like negative public criticism – what do they do, they buy over the press and communication channels & Voice of America radio is used to counter criticisms
- US spent a lot of energy showing concerns for Iranians & their welfare – to build trust, popular personalities invited for tea & sharing their photos is a good clue.
- If US used slogan anti-communism, anti-Soviet previously, present context is anti-China
- Locals that US tapped in Iran were wealthy landowners (pro-West elite society), university professors & students, secondary school teachers & even students (present ploy of gifting laptops and smartphones is a clue), professionals, government employees, leaders of public opinion, religious leaders, village headmen, tribal chief, labor leaders, army officers. (same coterie getting tapped presently too)
- The Campaign US deployed against Mossadegh was to paint him as being sympathetic towards communism, that he was directly dealing with the Soviets & that he was planning to surrender Northern Iran provinces to the Soviet Union,
- The Campaign US deployed against Mossadegh vis a vis economy was to blame him – calling him corrupt & dictatorial
- US used religious leaders against Mossadegh
- US used false information (Black Propaganda) – which included threatening people
- US plan included staged attacks (similar to the 9 May 2022) which was to be supported with fake documents of Mossadegh giving instructions for attacks
- US plan was to divide segments of society against Mossadegh but creating lies & distancing nationalists away from Mossadegh to isolate him (similarities with Sri Lanka)
- CIA knew that they could influence the top tier of Iranians & succeed
US State Dept agreed that they faced 3 issues following the ouster of PM Mossadegh
- Allegation of US role in deposing Mossadegh
- Allegation that Gen. Zahedi was a US puppet
- Nullifying Mossadegh as the Iranian hero.
Geopolitical importance of Iran for US/UK
Iran was needed to block Soviet access to the Persian Gulf. This meant the West required to ensure Iran’s oil reserves remained accessible to Western companies stationed in Iran since 1908.
Declassified documents revealing details of Operation Ajax is a public admission of CIA role in regime change which the US State Dept denied previously. US Secretary of State Madeline Albright in 2000 and President Obama in 2009 also referred to US role in coup. How many other coups has US denied while declassified documents have shown quite the opposite.
1000 pages of documents on the 1953 coup reveal that the 1st attempt failed and US advised to call off the operation but CIA agent Kermit went ahead & on his own will carried out the coup using ‘rented’ crowds (protestors)
Hired crowds became a hallmark of US regime change operations in the present decade as well.
Iranian protestors did not know the US had funded the protests – they knew only years later.
The speculation of US involvement was raised but denied.
It took 60 years for US to admit to hiring and funding the protests and opposition needed to oust an elected PM.
The same blueprints are happening even in Sri Lanka.
What we can be sure of is that we shall only know the truth decades later!
Shenali D Waduge